RICHBORO, Pa. — In a signing ceremony completed on July 30, Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) entered into an agreement creating what is likely to be both organizations’ largest philanthropic partnership to date.
Through this partnership, HARDI is poised become one of the biggest contributors to Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), the Massachusetts-based organization that provides mortgage-free, specially-adapted homes nationwide to severely injured Veterans Post-9/11, to enable them to rebuild their lives.
The three-year agreement will see HARDI support HFOT through 100 builds. For each home, HARDI members will provide all heating and cooling equipment and coordinate the installation, at no charge.
“There’s an emotional component to this, of course; obviously it’s a badge of honor for us to partner with Homes for Our Troops,” said Talbot Gee, CEO, HARDI. “There’s also a very practical reason for this partnership: our members are in a position to acquire high-efficiency equipment for these homes, which can lower a Veteran’s utility costs and provide better indoor air quality. This is the perfect partnership for us.”
 “We are proud to announce this morning that we will be adding HARDI as our Official Supplier of HVAC for Homes for Our Troops. Support from partners like HARDI is crucial to completing our mission of building homes and rebuilding lives,” said Tim McHale, president and CEO, HFOT.
HARDI first began supporting HFOT in 2011. In 2012, the association began hosting a Veteran at each year’s Annual Conference and in 2015 had a record-breaking year by donating more than $60,000 to HFOT.
“As a Veteran myself, I am particularly honored to support Homes for Our Troops and to witness the launch of this major partnership. This is an extremely meaningful day for me,” said Mike Braun, vice chair of HARDI’s Impact Committee and director of marketing for Gustave A. Larson Co. “I can speak for those of us at Gustave A. Larson Company when I say that it’s a privilege for us to make a tangible difference in the quality of life for these injured soldiers.”
Representatives from the office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, also attended the ceremony, presenting Army Veteran Kevin McCloskey with a token of appreciation for his service – a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol.
Dave Chatmon, owner of The Lettering Machine and chair of HARDI’s Impact Committee, said, “With HARDI distributor members’ expertise in logistics and with the manufacturers’ HVACR knowledge and resources, this partnership has the potential to completely transform both organizations. Also, as this partnership gains momentum, stay tuned as the Impact Committee puts together a few supplemental programs to run alongside it.“
HARDI and HFOT are in the process of determining the first build locations for the partnership and will announce details later this year.